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  • Where to call to stop unsolicited calls, letters, emails …

    Home » Forums » Outside the box » The Junk Drawer » Where to call to stop unsolicited calls, letters, emails …

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    #2396924

    The following, while being an example of means of spam and other junk mitigation, whether delivered by email, phone calls, or letters, that applies to the USA, probably has counterparts in other countries. So I am posting this as something possibly useful that maybe others here can add to, be it relevant to the USA or to other countries, providing their own recommendations on similar ways to avoid, or at least ameliorate these plagues of our age.

    Today’s weekly email from “Consumers’ CheckbooK”, an organization in the Washington, DC area, the USA capital city metropolitan area that I subscribe to, has an interesting and possibly useful article with advice on what to do about various types of obnoxious and perhaps malevolent calls, letters, emails that are a burden to us, the Post Office and the Internet system, and where anything that makes this less so is of benefit to personal peace of mind, pocket and even safety:

    https://www.checkbook.org/washington-area/reducing-mail-and-phone-solicitations/

    For example:

    To stop unsolicited credit card and insurance offers you can opt out by signing on to a list operated by the four major credit-reporting bureaus. These bureaus, which are a source of mailing list information for banks and others marketing credit cards and insurance, will then no longer be able to provide your name to these marketers. To sign up, visit optoutprescreen.com or call 888-5-OPT-OUT (888-567-8688). You’ll have to supply certain personal information—phone number, Social Security number, birthdate, etc.—to verify your identity, so make sure you’re using a secure connection to do that (in other words, don’t sign up while using public Wi-Fi at a coffee shop). You can opt out for five years or forever.

    So, please, go ahead and add what else you know about means such as those mentioned in this article to help curb this increasingly out of hand problem.

    (I don’t think this organization Web site is paywalled. If it is, please let me know, but don’t let this deter you from adding your own contributions. Thank you.)

    Ex Windows user (Win. 98, XP, 7) since mid-2020. Now: running macOS Big Sur 11.6 & sometimes, Linux (Mint)

    MacBook Pro circa mid-2015, 15" display, with 16GB 1600 GHz DDR3 RAM, 1 TB SSD, a Haswell architecture Intel CPU with 4 Cores and 8 Threads model i7-4870HQ @ 2.50GHz.
    Intel Iris Pro GPU with Built-in Bus, VRAM 1.5 GB, Display 2880 x 1800 Retina, 24-Bit color.
    Waterfox "Current" and (now and then) Chrome. also Intego AV and Malwarebytes for the Mac.

    • This topic was modified 1 month, 2 weeks ago by OscarCP.
    3 users thanked author for this post.
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    • #2396959

      I was fed up with receiving credit card cheques from one of the leading UK issuers.  I asked for them to stop, they kept on coming.  I said that, if they continued to send these cheques, I would bill them for any further time that I took at a certain hourly rate.  In the meantime, I absolved myself from any consequences from misues or abuse of these unsolicited cheques.  I said that, if my invoice was unpaid, I would resort to recovery of the invoiced amount, first through the small claims court, and then using bailiffs to enforce recovery of unpaid amounts, plus any fees.

      They stopped, but deprived me of my day in the small claims court!

      Dell E5570 Latitude, Intel Core i5 6440@2.60 GHz, 8.00 GB - Win 10 Pro

      2 users thanked author for this post.
    • #2396965

      Thanks for the information. I acted upon it immediately. One caution: the website URL and home page give the impression that the site is for opting out, but when you begin the process, the default choice is “Opt In”. This is easy to overlook especially if you are under the impression that the whole purpose of the website is to “Opt Out”.

      1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #2396984

      F A Kramer: Thanks.

      I have looked into this and also found a real, if unintended, problem I should warn you all, in the Checkbook article here, in this line:

      The quickest (and least expensive) way to see results via the DMA is to *register online*

      The two words I have emphasized in bold font above are a link to a site that seems to have been compromised, as one of my antimalware real-time defenses stopped me from actually completing the connection with the warning that it was not safe to connect with this site. This is not the fault of “Consumers’ Checkbook”, that thoroughly deserves its reputation as a serious publication, but a consequence of the kind of times we live in.

      But, please, do not let this stop any one here who might be able to do it, from contributing to this thread.

      Ex Windows user (Win. 98, XP, 7) since mid-2020. Now: running macOS Big Sur 11.6 & sometimes, Linux (Mint)

      MacBook Pro circa mid-2015, 15" display, with 16GB 1600 GHz DDR3 RAM, 1 TB SSD, a Haswell architecture Intel CPU with 4 Cores and 8 Threads model i7-4870HQ @ 2.50GHz.
      Intel Iris Pro GPU with Built-in Bus, VRAM 1.5 GB, Display 2880 x 1800 Retina, 24-Bit color.
      Waterfox "Current" and (now and then) Chrome. also Intego AV and Malwarebytes for the Mac.

    • #2397049

      I did not use the link. Rather I typed in the URL and brought up the website without any malware indications. Your experience, and mine, are a reminder that, as Woody himself always advised, one should never click on a link. Always type in the “address”.

      = Ax Kramer

      1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #2397024

      U.K. Residents.
      My IS and Telephone provider is TalkTalk.
      I have found (over 24 months) their call blocking service “Call Safe” to be excellent at keeping me free from rogue callers!
      Other U.K. Telecom providers offer a similar service

    • #2397284

      I like to give money (usually once a year) to certain worthy charities.  After they receive my donation, they continue to send me more and more requests for more donations.  I have sent notes in with the donations telling them I prefer to only give once a year, and to please save themselves the money for postage and processing costs.  But I still continue to get these almost bi-weekly or monthly requests in the mail and email for more money.

      In addition to the requests, they also send mailing labels, calendars, cards, stick-ons, etc. that make me feel like my donation is being wasted.  I don’t mind a calendar now and then, but I have a desk drawer full of mailing labels and I end up having to cut them up and throw them out because the glue on them messes up my shredder.

      If it ain't broke, it soon will be, so be prepared.

      1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2397303

        This is a very old problem. Not only the charities I donate send me those unsolicited requests for more money and even for life-time monthly donations until the day I kick the bucket, but they sell their lists of donors to other charities, so my donation-promoted junk snail mail and email snowballs. I realized that long ago, when, having donated over the phone and the person taking my donation making a spelling mistake when writing down my first name, many subsequent unsolicited mails from other charities were addressed to me with the some spelling mistake.

        There is one possible way to deal with this, which would be to never donate to any charity and dump in the trashcan all requests for monetary assistance. Instead, I am very selective to which charities I donate and dump the requests from others in the trash can. Do I feel bad about this? Yes, I do.

        As far as I know, there is no “do not mail” equivalent (at least not in the USA) to the “do not call” one for unwanted telephone requests and, or propositions, with its compliance backed by an actual law. As Charlie explains, simply asking them to stop is not very effective.

        Ex Windows user (Win. 98, XP, 7) since mid-2020. Now: running macOS Big Sur 11.6 & sometimes, Linux (Mint)

        MacBook Pro circa mid-2015, 15" display, with 16GB 1600 GHz DDR3 RAM, 1 TB SSD, a Haswell architecture Intel CPU with 4 Cores and 8 Threads model i7-4870HQ @ 2.50GHz.
        Intel Iris Pro GPU with Built-in Bus, VRAM 1.5 GB, Display 2880 x 1800 Retina, 24-Bit color.
        Waterfox "Current" and (now and then) Chrome. also Intego AV and Malwarebytes for the Mac.

    • #2397436

      I was able to stop a lot of the repetitive robocalls I was getting by removing an old fax machine from my used electronics mausoleum, and then hooking it up on my landline.  Most robocall software is designed to detect data portals or fax machines and automatically remove that number from their database since it is of no value to them.  Combined with Caller ID, it’s been pretty effective.

      "War is the remedy our enemies have chosen. And I say let us give them all they want" ----- William T. Sherman

      3 users thanked author for this post.
      • #2397586

        ClearThunder writes: “Most robocall software is designed to detect data portals or fax machines and automatically remove that number from their database

        For the past two years I have found that disconnecting the telephone, literally unplugging the cord off the wall, does work at reducing drastically the number of unsolicited call messages left in the voicemail while so disconnected. What I am not sure of is that it also discourages those messages from being repeated when my phone is connected, so no “leave a message” recording is picked up by the scammers. These messages seem to be coming in greater numbers over the same lengths of time when I am either expecting a call, or have used the phone to make a call and then forgot to disconnect it again.

        There is the “do not call” law here, in the USA, that is respected by those who are conscientious of their legal obligations, but not by scammers, who are by definition crooks working outside the law. So this law helps, but only to a limited extent.

        One thing that helps is to develop a quick, on-the-fly recognition of scam calls. For example, repeatedly over the years, I have received calls made by a man speaking in serious, authoritative and sonorous manly tones, announcing himself as a speaker on behalf of the “police association” to ask me for financial contributions. This is, I believe, the updated continuation of the “Collect for the Police Association Ball” scam, a party that was never actually held by any police association. But, perhaps, was by the scammers, celebrating their great money-making trick.

        Ex Windows user (Win. 98, XP, 7) since mid-2020. Now: running macOS Big Sur 11.6 & sometimes, Linux (Mint)

        MacBook Pro circa mid-2015, 15" display, with 16GB 1600 GHz DDR3 RAM, 1 TB SSD, a Haswell architecture Intel CPU with 4 Cores and 8 Threads model i7-4870HQ @ 2.50GHz.
        Intel Iris Pro GPU with Built-in Bus, VRAM 1.5 GB, Display 2880 x 1800 Retina, 24-Bit color.
        Waterfox "Current" and (now and then) Chrome. also Intego AV and Malwarebytes for the Mac.

    • #2397578

      but they sell their lists of donors to other charities

      If it is political perhaps donate to the other faction and at least get the to waste their $$$ as well. But of course the poor trees 😓

      🍻

      Just because you don't know where you are going doesn't mean any road will get you there.
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